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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Rise
by Tom Moeller  June 22, 2017

Initial claims for unemployment insurance during the week ended June 17 increased to 241,000 (-7.9% y/y) from 238,000 during the prior week, revised from 237,000. Expectations called for 240,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average increased slightly to 244,750.

The latest initial claims figure covers the survey week for June nonfarm payrolls. There was an 8,000 person increase (3.4%) from the May period. During the last ten years, there has been a 72% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.944 million (-9.8% y/y) in the week ended June 10, the highest level in seven weeks. The four-week moving average of claimants increased to 1.932 million.

The insured unemployment rate remained at the record low of 1.4%.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continue to vary widely. For the week ended June 10, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.30%), Nebraska (0.52%), Indiana (0.52%), North Carolina (0.53%), Florida (0.54%) and Utah (0.58%). The highest rates were found in Alaska (2.73%), New Jersey (2.18%), Connecticut (2.05%), California (2.05%), Massachusetts (1.72%) and Illinois (1.69%). These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

The unemployment insurance claims data begin January 2, 1971. Data on weekly unemployment insurance are contained in Haver's WEEKLY database and they are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states are in REGIONW. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 06/17/17 06/10/17 06/03/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 241 238 245 -7.9 263 278 308
Continuing Claims --  1,944 1,936 -9.8 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

(June 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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